Planck: “The most risky period for vegan children is weaning. Growing babies who are leaving the breast need complete protein, omega-3 fats, iron, calcium and zinc. Compared with meat, fish, eggs and dairy, plants are inferior sources of every one.”
Breeze: There are many vegan sources of calcium and iron that are highly absorbable. I used Nettles based Floradix iron for anemia prevention during my pregnancy. I took it in combination with World Organic chlorophyll and vitamin C source to mix (orange juice or a kiwi smoothie for example). Want a toddler to eat EFAs like Omega 3 6 9? Blend chia seeds with water, liquid form of algae DHA, and a banana and dates in the blender and put it in a popsicle mold. Refreshing and not just high in critical long chain fatty acids, you will be giving them and excellent source of calcium and Omega 3 6 9. Chia seeds are also high in iron and protein. A little goes a long way. Just be sure to soak chia seeds in water before eating, for at least 15 minutes or you’ll make yourself really sick. Still worried about a toddler not getting enough vegan based protein and Omega 3 6 9? Blend banana, hempseeds, and water together and put them in popsicle molds. If you made pops that have 1/4 c of raw hulled hempseeds per pop, that is 11g of protein, lots of fiber, EFAs, and other trace minerals.
Planck: “The breast milk of vegan mothers is dramatically lower in a critical brain fat, DHA, than the milk of an omnivorous mother.”
Breeze: Eat algae based DHA and chia seeds and your breast milk won’t be deficient in critical DHA. I take 600 mg of DHA algae each day. If you combine that with Chia seeds and flax seeds, it’s awesome. There is also the brand Ovega which is vegan source of EPA and DHA vegan.
B12 deficiency worries? Here is what Vegan Society has to say
In over 60 years of vegan experimentation only B12 fortified foods and B12 supplements have proven themselves as reliable sources of B12, capable of supporting optimal health. It is very important that all vegans ensure they have an adequate intake of B12, from fortified foods or supplements. This will benefit our health and help to attract others to veganism through our example. (source: http://www.vegansociety.com/lifestyle/nutrition/b12.aspx)
Seriously, just buy B12 supplements and take it or give it to your children; case closed.
There are a plethora of vegan nutritional specialists who have published the ways in which you can get everything you need as a vegan. If you are pregnant and want to do a vegan pregnancy, believe me as someone who did a vegan pregnancy and had an amazing homebirth: it’s possible. Reed Mangels has a new vegan pregnancy books out The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book. Mangels is brilliant and lays it all out for you. It’s $11 well spent. And for a great informative and humorous approach get the Vegan Pregnancy Survival guide. Wanna raise your children vegan and help them be as healthy as possible? Read Disease proof your child by Dr. Joel Furhman.
A vegan diet is possible. You can thrive. Your children can thrive. Just inform yourself, find the support you need, and read read read.
Basically, if you are deficient in overall nutritional information for your diet, then your diet will be deficient. Veganism, planned properly, is not deficient.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or certified health practitioner. Always consult your practitioner before trying anything I suggest on Sistah Vegan blog and videos
Thank you so much for replying so intelligently and calmly to this rediculous article full of VERY outdated ideas about vegan diet. I’m surprised the NY Times printed it.
The fact is that Vegetarian/ Vegan diets are unhealthy in the long run! If you are missing any nutrient and have to supplement, then it isn’t a well rounded diet.
“As a cleansing diet, vegetarianism is a good choice. Several health conditions (e.g., gout) can often be ameliorated by a temporary reduction in animal products with an increase of plant foods. But such measures must not be continuous throughout life: there are vital nutrients found only in animal products that we must ingest for optimal health. Furthermore, there is no one diet that will work for every person. Some vegetarians and vegans, in their zeal to get converts, are blind to this biochemical fact. ”
Sunbathing everyday doesn’t sound like a good alternative for Vtamin D. The UV rays that synthesize the manufacturing of Vitamin D are too dangerous. Yes, humans have evolved despite great exposure to sunlight, but the rays are still poisonous poisonous. Modern advancements have increased our ability to avoid it. I advise getting your vitamin D from other sources.
Nutritional ignorance is widespread among the entire population, but most people don’t need to consider the nutrients in meat and milk. Is veganism risky for children? Not if you’re doing it right. Vegans know that they have to be knowledgeable and diligent in their compensation lacking animal products. It follows that you would make these same considerations for your children, and I’m guessing that most vegans do their research. Sunlight needs to be part of that research, as it is an unsafe alternative.
I am not sure wether to be outrage or just sad at Planck’s ignorance of plant based nutrition. My veg children ages 7 and 5 could write a better article. Thank you A.Breeze Harper for re-educating the misinformed masses and delivering a compassion truth.
I’m new to the vegan diet and I’m currently studying to receive my BS in nutrition science. There are many people in the U.S. who are not vegans and are deficient in so many things not to mention obese. What works for me may not work for you but if its working for me and I have more energy, a clear mind, in great spirits, and most importantly healthy why knock it. Some vegans may be deficient for lack of knowledge about the diet but definitely not from a vegan diet. Black people really should take a serious look at a no meat no dairy lifestyle because we are dying at a higher rate from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer than any other group of people. We are so blind to the facts staring us directly in the mouth at the dinner table, from fast food to sugar filled drinks to cancer causing animal products. And let me break it to you its not whats in your genes… just because your mother and your father had diabetes doesn’t mean you’re going to have it. But if you eat the same bad diet as your elders you most certainly will carry the family torch of disease. If you love life and your family take time out to watch a food matters documentary or pick up a book and research whats in your food. Why do you think Trader Joe’s and Whole Food stores aren’t anywhere close to our neighborhoods. Because so many of us including my family are low information folks and these companies feel we aren’t ready to stop poisoning our bodies yet so why bother. Turn off that reality TV and research your food……
so Breeze Harper admits that Nina Planck is right? She doesn’t actually rebuttal her points, Harper just provides what the vegan needs to do to cover those deficiencies.